Next-Generation Technology and Electoral Democracy: Understanding the Changing Environment

Special Report

March 23, 2022

Democracies around the world are facing growing threats to their electoral systems in the digital age. Foreign interference in the form of dis- and misinformation has already influenced the results of democratic elections and altered the course of history. This special report, the result of a research project conducted in partnership with the Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) Canada, examines these cyberthreats from a Canadian and German perspective. Both Canada and Germany share common goals centred around protecting human rights, democracy and the rule of law, and international peace and security. Using case studies from experts in fields such as computer science, law and public policy, the special report offers recommendations to guide policy makers and stakeholders on how to protect elections from next-generation technologies and the threats they pose to democracy.

About the Authors

Samantha Bradshaw is a CIGI fellow and assistant professor in new technology and security at American University.

Kailee Hilt is a program manager and research associate at CIGI. She focuses on public policy issues tied to emerging technology, privacy and cybersecurity.

Eric Jardine is a CIGI fellow and an assistant professor of political science at Virginia Tech. Eric researches the uses and abuses of the dark web, measuring trends in cybersecurity, how people adapt to changing risk perceptions when using new security technologies, and the politics surrounding anonymity-granting technologies and encryption.

Florian Kerschbaum is associate professor in the Cheriton School of Computer Science at the University of Waterloo and director of the Waterloo Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute.

Ulrike Klinger is the chair for digital democracy at the European New School of Digital Studies in Frankfurt, Germany, and an associated researcher at the Weizenbaum Institute for the Networked Society in Berlin, Germany.

Michael Pal is an associate professor in the Faculty of Law at the University of Ottawa, where he is the director of the Public Law Group. He specializes in the comparative law of democracy and comparative constitutional law. He has advised governments at all levels on election and constitutional law.

Aaron Shull is the managing director and general counsel at CIGI. He is a senior legal executive and is recognized as a leading expert on complex issues at the intersection of public policy, emerging technology, cybersecurity, privacy and data protection.

Wesley Wark is a CIGI senior fellow.